12:30 noon Carmen awaits us at her home, perfectly adapted to her needs. In the distance, at the door, we see him sitting in his wheelchair. She begins to tell us her story when we take her into the living room. And his story has two parts. Line marked by gender violence.
The story of a survivor of gender violence
The night before March 12, 2010, Carmen argues with her then partner. She doesn’t know why, but an aggression she’s rarely seen before frightens her. She calls her aunt, who is trying to mediate the argument. she is. He goes to bed with fear in his body. She won’t stop crying and I can’t stop. Daylight comes, turns and sees her face. “It was like a horror movie, I knew something was going to happen, I knew it”sentence.
Without thinking, he goes down the stairs of the duplex they shared and locks himself in the bathroom. He convinces her from the outside that she will go to work. As soon as Carmen hears the sound of the elevator, she leaves the room and finds him face to face. “And I remember one last sentence: I’m going to work today, right?” He drags her onto the terrace and throws her out the window. “He threw me from the third floor”he finishes.
Carmen woke up in the hospital bedridden. The attacker had caused “a complete spinal cord injury, meaning he lost his ability to move,” roughly at the level of his navel. Since then, Carmen has been sitting in a chair.
“He threw me from the third floor”
It was the last episode of violence, the most extreme, but it had been much more before. most were psychological abuse. He canceled her, took her from her parents, and Carmen ceased to be Carmen. Insecurity was absolute. “There comes a moment when you wake up in the morning and you no longer know what to do, what to say, how to dress,” she explains. Pointing at her arm, She adds, “From the moment he grabbed me, the marks on my arm would go away in a week, but terror… I live with it to this day“.
Carmen was mistreated for two years
It went on like this for two years. It all ended on March 12, 2010. Or almost. Because, he says, gender violence is over and institutional violence has begun. He spent months in the hospital National Hospital for the paraplegic in Toledo and when he left he went straight to report. He says no one had done anything until then, reproaching that “no one investigates anything until they leave the hospital six months later.”
He was surprised when the judge decided to sue for lack of evidence. “Proof of what?” she wonders. they came another ordeal for him. Out of anger and helplessness, she exemplifies their suffering, “they released a report in which they used type phrases: it doesn’t fit the profile.” He believes that there is a problem, that society is more advanced than governments and that an in-depth analysis of this issue is needed. In addition to more sensibility, “You have to ask the exam questions in another way,” he concludes.
“I realized that I was very lucky, life was not a matter of standing or sitting”
But Carmen never gave up. And he fought. Against yourself first. Her life changed with that attack, but she assures she survived. “I realized that I was very lucky, that it’s a lifestyle, not standing or sitting. I realized that when I was alive, I had options before everything else,” he explains. And did my son have them?
He faced his fears, his past, and his disability and knew how to get the most out of it. “I am an athlete, Spanish champion in 800, 1,000 and 5,000 meters”. And he created a foundation focused on helping people with disabilities. He has rebuilt his life and, as he says, is living relatively happily with his two daughters.